Daniel Walker and I recently partook in a food tour of NWA. Our other buddy, Alex, a current Fayetteville resident, drove us around town this past Saturday. We ended up dining at places like Arsaga’s, Herman’s, KJ’s, The Greenhouse Grille, Bouchee, A Taste of Thai, and a few others. Overall, we were all impressed with most of the restaurants on our list, and that also included stops the next day up in Bentonville at Tusk & Trotter and Pressroom.
But one thing stood out about the weekend more than any other … the food trucks.
We stopped at Yacht Club on College, a collection of 5-6 food trucks/trailers in an unassuming parking lot in the heart of Fayetteville. It wasn’t a big area, but it was done right. You had a place to park, tables and chairs to sit and eat, and just the right amount of eclectic food options to pique your interest.
And the best part? The food was very good … like the creative take on a mango/jalapeno cupcake, a tasty fried avocado taco, and a delicious Cuban sandwich.
As we drove through Bentonville the next day, we were also surprised by the number of permanent food trailers residing along high traffic streets. In years past, I hadn’t noticed these trailers in Bentonville, which indicates mobile eateries are being embraced in NWA. This also seems to be the case in Central Arkansas where the recent addition of a food truck park in Conway has helped elevate the food scene. Even North Little Rock has started embracing food trucks.
So what about Little Rock? We have a number of meet-ups throughout each month and even a food truck festival that rivals that of many bigger cities. But why isn’t there a permanent location for our food trucks? I’ve heard talk of it in the past, but with no real progress toward making something happen. Why is that? Does the public even want such a thing? Would we support it? Where would we put it? Are our current trucks even interested in this set-up? Are laws preventing action?
I’m honestly not sure of the answers. But to me, Little Rock is the perfect size and ideal climate for a food truck to flourish pretty much year-round, assuming that it’s generating consistent, quality, and creative food.